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Mike Whellans

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  • Years Active: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Mike Whellans is one of Scotland's top flatpicking guitarists. A former member of the Scots-Irish band Boys of the Lough, and an ex-duo partner of the group's fiddler Aly Bain, Whellans has reinvented himself as a one-man blues band, accompanying himself on acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, and mouth percussion. The Utne Reader suggested listeners should "think of him as Jimmy Reed or Willie Dixon transplanted from Lake Michigan to the shores of Loch Lomond." The son of a jazz drummer, Whellans played the drums as a youngster. By the age of 14, he was already a veteran of wedding and dance bands. Teaching himself to play guitar, Whellans became a professional musician in 1969. A longtime accompanist of Shetland fiddler Aly Bain, he and Bain accepted invitations to join the Boys of the Lough in 1971. He remained with the group for a year and was then replaced by Dick Gaughan in 1972. Whellans has performed frequently in Europe and settled in Denmark in the mid-'80s.